First I write a blog about the passing of health care reform a week after the fact, than I post my baseball preview the day after the first game of the season, than I nearly forget that this is my 250th WU. Boy, I need to get my priorities straight... ;)
Last year, I tweaked my usual forecast by explaining why I wasn't convinced any team could win the 2009 World Series (and as some of you will recall, I vastly overestimated the Rays and Indians). This year, to encourage a discussion about the new season, I've posed each prediction as a question. Some of them can be answered with a simple yes or no, while others are a bit more oblique.
NOTE: Division and wild card teams are denoted in bold.
1. Phillies: Were you expecting any other team to win this division?
2. Braves: Can Jair Jurrjens maintain a 2.60 ERA with a K/BB ratio just above 2?
3. Mets: How does a front office spend so much money in the offseason and do absolutely nothing to solve any of their issues?
4. Marlins: Why is such a gifted athlete like Hanley Ramirez wasted on such a middling team like Da Fish?
5. Nationals: Strasberg's not ready yet, everyone knows that, but is there anybody else worth watching in DC?
1. Cardinals: Which left fielder will give up more triples: Matt Holliday...
2. Cubs: ...or Alfonso Soriano?
3. Brewers: Is it just me, or is that 2008 Wild Card berth starting to look like a distant memory?
4. Reds: Are they the breakout team of 2010, or the most overrated?
5. Astros: Will clubhouse morale improve with new skipper Brad Mills?
6. Pirates: Can you believe there are high school seniors that weren't born yet the last time the Bucs made the playoffs?
1. Giants: Outside of Pablo Sandoval, does anybody on this team know how to use a glove?
2. Rockies: Todd Helton is past his prime, that's quite apparent, so who'll step up as Colorado's top power hitter?
3. Dodgers: Does Chad Billingsley have the mental toughness to be an ace?
4. D-Backs: Will Brandon Webb ever be the same pitcher again?
5. Padres: Is Mike Adams our generation's Goose Gossage, or is Heath Bell a lock at closer?
1. Red Sox: Whose stats will benefit more from their new digs, Adrian Beltre's SLG or John Lackey's ERA?
2. Yankees: With Mo Rivera's HOF career winding down, who is the Pinstripes' closer of the future?
3. Rays: They're in the same division as the Yanks and Bosox. Why bother trying?
4. Orioles: The kids (Matusz, Jones, Markakis, Wieters) can play, so when will the O's unload all their expensive veterans?
5. Blue Jays: Ricky Romero notwithstanding, could this youth movement be any uglier?
1. Twins: Can Minnesota really win the division without having an ace in their rotation?
2. White Sox: Their rotation (Buehrle, Peavy, Danks, Floyd) looks wicked, but where's the run support?
3. Tigers: Can Rick Porcello avoid a sophomore slump? Also, is their front office committed to winning?
4. Royals: Is KC's offensive outburst during Spring Training the real deal?
5. Indians: Can Pronk and Sizemore stay healthy long enough to keep Cleveland from losing 100 games?
1. Mariners: Will a defense-oriented ballclub compensate for a starting nine with one star hitter (Ichiro), an aging legend (Griffey), and seven wild cards?
2. Angels: Will the last remaining player from the '02 Champs (Scot Shields) turn off the lights?
3. Rangers: Is Scott Feldman the worst pitcher to ever win 17 games, and if so, can he keep relying on Texas' big bats?
4. Athletics: Does Ben Sheets have anything left in the tank?
And now, my postseason prognostications:
NL Rookie of the Year: Jason Heyward, Braves
AL Rookie of the Year: Austin Jackson, Tigers
NL Cy Young: Tim Lincecum, Giants
AL Cy Young: Justin Verlander, Tigers
NL MVP: Albert Pujols, Cardinals
AL MVP: Joe Mauer, Twins
First Manager Fired: Ron Washington, Rangers
NL Manager of the Year: Bruce Bochy, Giants
AL Manager of the Year: Terry Francona, Red Sox
2010 World Series: Red Sox over the Phillies, 4 games to 2
The ball is in play; tell me what you think.